Will be there again. Probably my favorite week of the year. Things that I've seen at Sxsw:
This year I was getting some breakfast tacos and Jack White popped out and played a couple acoustic songs on 4th and Colorado St. Jay Z, Kanye, Mos Def, John Legend, and Pusha T perform inside of a decommissioned Power Plant for a few thousand people with open bar. The Strokes played for free by the lake. DJ Premier and Big Boi at free club shows. Tom Morello and Ben Harper play an acoustic set at a comedy club. Muse plays at Stubb's BBQ. REM, Metallica, and Foo Fighters did the same. Bands playing in backyards, museums, barber shops, street corners, rooftops, and anywhere you can put a stage.
I get the badge by volunteering, but there is so much shit you can do for free in the daytime. Can't wait.
Bands playing in backyards, museums, barber shops, street corners, rooftops, and anywhere you can put a stage.
This is what is great. The Spits at a pizza parlor. Gobble Gobble at a house party. Walking down 4th street last year and there's Phantogram playing right off the sidewalk at Cedar St. Courtyard. The Presbyterian Church last year had Cults, Glasser, tuneyards, Twin Shadow, and James Blake...and that was one showcase.
So I do not need to buy a badge there's plenty of great free show right?
I can't really answer that for you. If you buy a badge you can pretty much see whatever you want. You get priority access to the official SXSW showcases. And you can go to seminars all day, which are really cool. It might be like Jimmy Page talking about songwriting in a small conference room. It does suck when someone you really want to see is playing and you can't get into the show because you didn't buy a badge. But for me it's not worth the $600 or $700. And if an official SXSW showcase isn't at capacity for the venue, then you can purchase a ticket with cash and get in. You just never know what showcases are going to fill up. Last year I couldn't get into the Roky Erickson show or a Peelander Z show b/c they filled up quickly, but I did get into Bad Brains and Men Without Hats which were official showcases.
I don't do the badge because most of the bands that I want to see do play free shows (and the badge damn expensive). In fact, a lot of the newer bands will play 4 or 5 times over the festival and only one of those shows is an official SXSW event where you need a badge. But the above poster is correct that not having a badge does force limitations on what you can see.
Here are some of the free showcases from last year. If you would not have been interested in seeing these bands back in March, then maybe a badge is the way to go. However, I think this shows there are plenty of good free shows. And this is only a small sample of them.
April 14-16 - Coachella
April 22 - Sleep
May 4 - The Weeknd
May 20 - Mastodon/EODM/Russian Circles
May 30 - Conan/North
June 9 - Sigur Rós
July 3 - Roger Waters
July 30 - Panorama Festival
August 17-20 - Psycho Las Vegas
September 9 - Green Day
October 6-8 - ACL wknd. 1
We only went the Thursday night. The crowd from the day show cleared out so it was fairly easy getting in before Devotchka, but it was packed by Phantogram. It's a large backyard venue with probably a 700-800 person capacity (I'm guessing). The Fader shows are the hardest to get into because the lineups are stacked and well-known. They tend to have a huge line unless you get there early. The wait to get into the Fort can be an hour or more. The other shows I posted were all easy to get into. Only Das Racists had a line at the Glitter show when we left. We walked right in around 2 for Dominique Young, EMA, and Asobi.
It's more frustrating for me to always be limited to the under 21 shows. I can't wait to eventually be able to do the Fader Fort and such. I'm always stuck with the bros at parties like this lol:
I'm still pissed about Kanye, but at least I got to do Foos. My advice for SXSW is to invest in a backup phone battery because it will DIE. And you will need your phone to keep up with all the secret shows and craziness of SXSW.
The biggest thing being supported with this thread is thay wristbands and badges aren't needed. It does seem to get more and more crowded every year, since it is also during spring break in Austin. If you plan on going all over the place then having a bike is the ultimate way to cruise around. Covering 20 blocks on foot takes 20 minutes, it can take 5 on a bike. I wouldn't have made the free strokes show without it. The only issue is don't let it get stolen. I let my guard down briefly when I set it by the stairs at my friends house and someone walked up and stole it from the stairs when we were on the porch laughing our asses off. I should have locked it, but I was only 10 feet away.
I think if I can get a few people on a hotel room and get a flight ticket before the new year I can pull off a four day weekend with this.Last flight ticket I was looking at was $240 around trip. There's a few bands I've been listening to that could see being good at sxsw.Fear could be a lot of fun in someone backyard or in a alley.
couple friends went this year and said it was way funner than coachella..also read a few people say that as well...would love to make it out next year
Originally Posted by mncarpooler
Anything that's not Sahara tent trash is going to have a small crowd it seems like. I wandered over near the Sahara once all weekend and it was a clusterfuck of the douchiest looking people you could ever imagine.
The new adds are fucking Killer!!!!!!!!!!! I decided to pick up running and quit smoking cigarettes so I can still fly there and Marathon run to all stuff around.I really don't want to think about bringing my bike and chance of it getting stolen.